Microsoft Nabs European Shopping Search Player

Microsoft has entered a deal to acquire Greenfield Online, an attitudinal researcher and owner of European comparison shopping player Ciao GmbH, for $486 million. Microsoft’s in it strictly for the shopping search platform, which it dubs “commercial search,” and has already found an (undisclosed) buyer for the research/survey business.

“Integrating Ciao’s capabilities into Live Search will provide a strong launchpad for our commercial search offer in Europe and enhance our e-commerce offering on MSN,” said John Mangelaars, consumer and online VP for Microsoft’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Ciao boasts 26.5 million monthly uniques in seven countries, according to comScore numbers cited by Microsoft. It aggregates merchant and product reviews and enable purchases in a manner similar to U.S. sites like eBay-owned Shopping.com.

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